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West Chester man indicted for allegedly stealing from elderly

Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 4:42 PM


            A West Chester Twp. resident has been indicted by a Butler County grand jury on five felony charges involving an alleged securities fraud scheme and theft from the elderly. GREG LYNCH/STAFF
A West Chester Twp. resident has been indicted by a Butler County grand jury on five felony charges involving an alleged securities fraud scheme and theft from the elderly. GREG LYNCH/STAFF

A West Chester Twp. resident has been indicted on five felony charges involving an alleged securities fraud scheme and theft from the elderly.

Ronald Lee Jennings, 75, was indicted Tuesday by a Butler County grand jury for misrepresentation in the sale of a security, securities fraud, selling an unregistered security and two counts of theft from an elderly person. All five counts are felonies of the second degree, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce.

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The indictment against Jennings is a result of allegations that he received $91,000 from an elderly Ohio resident in exchange for a note of corporation issued by his business, Mature Planning Personal Services Inc., which also operated as Mature Planning Financial Services Inc.

The indictment alleges that Jennings solicited the elderly investor using false representations and material omissions about the nature of the businesses and the nature of the transaction.

The indictment further alleges that the note was not properly registered for sale in or from Ohio.

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A summons has been issued for Jennings to appear for arraignment on Jan. 8.

If convicted on all counts, Jennings faces up to 40 years in prison. The case is being prosecuted by the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office.

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Dayton man allegedly led Sidney police on high speed chase

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 4:18 PM

A Dayton man was arrested in Sidney on Friday afternoon for leading police on a high speed chase, according to a press release. 

Trevelle M. Scott Sr., 42, was charged with failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer and taken to the Shelby County Jail. In addition, Scott had an outstanding warrant and he did not have a valid driver’s license, the release said. 

The incident started just after noon when a Sidney a police officer recognized a vehicle that had previously been at a suspected drug house traveling south on Interstate 75, Sidney Police Chief William Balling said. The car also had illegal window tints, the chief said.

When the officer attempted to stop the vehicle by activating his emergency lights, the driver, later identified as Scott, exited I-75 at exit 90 and the officer pursued him, the release said. The suspect then turned west onto Fair Road without stopping at a stop sign and the pursuit reached speeds of more than  100 mph, according to the release. 

At times during the pursuit the suspect drove in the oncoming lanes of Fair Road. He lost control of the car in the 2600 block of Fair Road, nearly causing an accident before coming to a stop near 2644 Fair Road, where he was taken into custody, the release said.

The case will be presented to a Shelby County Grand jury.

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Woman steals identity via social media to land job with 6-figure salary

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 4:17 PM

Cindy T. White
22nd Judicial District Attorney's Office
Cindy T. White(22nd Judicial District Attorney's Office)

A Louisiana woman with a history of identity theft faces 10 years in prison after she was convicted Wednesday of stealing another woman’s background to land an executive position with a six-figure salary.

Cindy T. White, 41, of Slidell, was found guilty of identity theft over $1,000, according to a news release from the office of 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery. It took jurors just 15 minutes to find White guilty of the charges. 

Montgomery said in the news release that White used information stolen from another woman’s LinkedIn profile to beef up her resume in September 2015, when she applied for an executive-level position with Diversified Foods & Seasonings. NOLA.com reported that the company, based in Covington, was founded by the late entrepreneur Al Copeland.

White also used the other woman’s Social Security number and driver’s license number when applying for the job, the news release said

She was initially hired as a human resources manager, a position with a $95,000 annual salary, Montgomery said. Five months later, she was promoted to senior human resources director, a job with a $105,000 salary. 

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Company officials became suspicious a few months later when they noticed that White had trouble with duties that she should have been able to perform based on her alleged educational background. Her resume listed a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and a master’s degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

“That’s not this person,” prosecutor Casey Dieck said in court, pointing at White. “This person stole the victim’s hard work and used it to get a six-figure salary and benefits to boot.”

Officials at Diversified Foods & Seasonings also noticed that White delegated a large number of tasks assigned to her, Montgomery said in the news release. They took a closer look at her personnel file and found discrepancies in it. 

Company officials called the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office in April 2016. 

Investigators determined that White lifted her educational background directly from the LinkedIn profile of a woman with a similar name, Montgomery said. They also discovered that she obtained the woman’s driver’s license and Social Security numbers from an unnamed online site. 

A look at White’s real background revealed that this was not the first time she had stolen someone’s identity, the news release said

White, a former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office employee, was arrested in New Orleans in 1997 on suspicion of theft, forgery and malfeasance in office after she was accused of stealing a co-worker’s identity and emptying the woman’s bank account.

She was caught when she was spotted in surveillance photos and identified, the news release said. She pleaded guilty that September to two counts of forgery and received probation. 

Her probation was terminated in 1999 when the court was sent information that White had died, Montgomery said

White also had a 1998 conviction in Jefferson Parish for attempted theft of goods. 

Prosecutors argued that White, who admitted to St. Tammany Parish investigators that she used the victim’s identity to get the job, fraudulently collected $56,209 during the seven months she worked at Diversified Foods & Seasonings. Her defense attorney argued that she earned the salary she received. 

Dieck denied the defense claim, Montgomery said in the news release

“We have here a defendant who admits to stealing to cover up the fact that she’s a convicted thief,” the prosecutor said. 

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The owners of The Greene’s newest restaurant are quite familiar with the place. Here’s why. 

Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 @ 7:57 AM
Updated: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 6:22 AM

Charles and Michelle Yang operated a restaurant at The Greene for more than two years before returning.

The owners of the new Pan-Asian restaurant called Ace Asian Cafe that is scheduled to open today, April 20 at The Greene Town Center are no strangers to the space: they owned and operated a restaurant at that very spot for more than two years.

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Charles and Michelle Yang oversaw an Asian restaurant at 4394 Juniper Way from December 2014 through March 2017, a spokesman for Ace Asian Cafe told this news outlet. Subsequent owners of Choe’s Asian Gourmet were evicted by The Greene’s management for non-payment of rent and fees in late 2017, and the restaurant has been closed while undergoing remodeling by the new, but also former, owners.

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Also returning to the restaurant is the original sushi chef, known as Mr. Kim. In addition to sushi, the restaurant will offer Korean barbecue dishes along with a variety of Thai and Chinese options. Patio seating, a sushi bar, and a full cocktail, wine and beer list are also available.

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After today’s 11:30 a.m. opening, Ace Asian Cafe will be open seven days a week for lunch, afternoons and dinner.

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The Greene’s ownership filed a “forcible entry” lawsuit in Greene County Common Pleas Court in November 2017 against the late-2017 owners of Choe’s Asian Gourmet over missed rent and fee payments. Greene County Common Pleas Judge Michael Buckwalter ruled in December that the most recent owners of Choe’s Asian Gourmet restaurant had violated their lease agreement with The Greene and awarded the retail center full access to the property.

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The action was taken after the restaurant’s operators failed to respond in a timely manner to the lawsuit, according to court documents. But after missing initial deadlines to respond to the lawsuit, the most recent owners of Choe’s in recent weeks have mounted a more robust defense. An attorney for the former owners is seeking to effectively reopen portions of the lawsuit, and challenging The Greene’s assertion that the owners owe nearly $400,000.

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The former manager of Choe’s Asian Gourmet told this news outlet in early 2018 that business had been slow late last year in part because foot traffic was down in the restaurant’s section of The Greene. She said she attempted to re-negotiate the terms of her lease but instead was ordered to vacate. She said some of the restaurant’s problems stemmed from a disgruntled former employee.

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Child inside vehicle involved in St. Marys pursuit, arrest made

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 4:08 PM

A man was arrested following a pursuit across two counties Thursday night that ended with his vehicle in a field.

Christopher Thornton, 38, of Phillipsburg, was arrested on suspicion of failure to comply, child endangering, theft of a motor vehicle and resisting arrest, according to St. Marys police.

St. Marys police were responding to the report of a stolen vehicle spotted in the Auglaize County city near a gas station on the corner of Main and South streets around 10 p.m., according to police.

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That triggered the pursuit that continued into southern Auglaize and ended, after stop sticks were used to deflate tires, in a Mercer County field in the 1100 block of Goettmoeller Road. 

A child related to Thornton, whose age was not released, was in the stolen vehicle, police said.  The child’s condition was not released.

Troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Auglaize County and Mercer County deputies and New Bremen Police were involved in the pursuit.

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